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Peyton Burdick's Record Home Run Caps off Bats' 7-5 Win

May 21, 2024 - International League (IL)
Louisville Bats News Release

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky - Peyton Burdick lifted a 500-foot home run and the Louisville bullpen shut down Toledo on their way to a 7-5 win over the Mud Hens in the series opener on Tuesday night, helping the Bats to a season-high six games over .500 at 26-20.

Bats starter Connor Phillips forced Parker Meadows to ground out to begin his day but walked both Justyn-Henry Malloy and Keston Hiura to put runners on first and second for Akil Baddoo. The left fielder came through with a double to score Malloy from second and put the Mud Hens up 1-0 headed into the bottom half.

The Bats were ready to respond against Toledo starter Keider Montero. A Blake Dunn walk and a Livan Soto single set the table for the Louisville lineup, and although Rece Hinds came up next and struck out, Edwin Ríos picked him up with a three-run shot to give the Bats the lead at 3-1.

Toledo didn't plan to let Phillips get comfortable, as Ryan Vilade homered to lead off the top of the second and Andrew Navigato doubled to put the leading run at the plate in Malloy. The designated hitter then hit the second Mud Hens home run of the frame to put Toledo right back out in front at 4-3.

Both Phillips and Montero settled in over the next few innings, until the former found himself in trouble once again in the top of the fifth. Jace Jung singled and Baddoo walked to put runners on second and first for Dillon Dingler, who drove a Phillips fastball into center field to score Jung and increase the Toledo lead to 5-3.

Bats manager Pat Kelly decided to go to the bullpen, calling on Yosver Zulueta for the final two outs of the frame. A double steal moved both runners into scoring position at second and third, and Vilade then worked a walk to load the bases. Zulueta didn't waver, getting Buddy Kennedy to ground into a double play to get out of the jam.

Louisville threatened in their half of the fifth, with Dunn earning his third walk of the game and Soto ripping a single to left field to put two runners on with one out. Lefty Andrew Magno (L, 0-2) came out of the Toledo bullpen to face Hinds and Ríos, and the former struck out while the latter grounded out to end the threat for the Bats.

Zulueta (W, 1-0) stayed in and fired a scoreless sixth, giving the Bats a chance to strike closer at the plate. P.J. Higgins recorded his 16 th double of the year to lead off against Magno, and Burdick singled to right field to move Higgins to third. Levi Jordan came up next and delivered with a single to score Higgins and cut the Louisville deficit to 5-4. After a hard lineout by Austin Wynns and Jordan getting picked off at first, Erik González singled as well to score Burdick and tie the game. The Bats weren't done yet, as Dunn tallied his sixth double of the season to score González all the way from first and give the Bats the lead back at 6-5.

Alan Busenitz relieved Zulueta and posted another zero for the Louisville bullpen in the seventh. At the plate, the Bats added another run vs. Mud Hens reliever Bryce Tassin with a Burdick blast that went exactly 500 feet to right-center field, the longest home run in all of baseball this season and in Louisville Slugger Field history.

Busenitz came back out for the eighth and struck out two on his way to another scoreless frame. Tony Santillan was called on to close out the game and did so in just 11 pitches on his way to his 10 th save of the year.

Both Dunn and Soto reached base in all five of their plate appearances, as Dunn recorded four walks and an RBI double and Soto tallied three hits, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch. Ríos added to the Bats terrific offensive outing with his seventh home run of the season on top of Burdick's record shot.

Zulueta, Busenitz, and Santillan combined for 4.2 scoreless innings out of the Louisville bullpen, with the latter becoming the first in all of Minor League Baseball to ten saves.

The Bats continue to battle the Mud Hens tomorrow night in the second of the six-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at Louisville Slugger Field, with Nick Curran and Jim Kelch on the call for 1450/96.1 WXVW.

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